28 minute 5k Training Plan

Target Race Pace: 9:00 per mile / 5:35 per km for a 28 minute 5k

To run a 28 minute 5k you will need to be able to run at a target race pace of 9:00 minutes per mile pace for the 3.1 mile distance, that is 5min 37sec per kilometre.


Your Speed/Distance Training Zones: 28 minute 5k

Pace per MilePace per KmTreadmill Pace mphTreadmill Pace km/h400m Pace800m Pace5km Race Pace
08:5505:346.7 mph10.7 km/h2:13 secs4min 27s27min 50s
09:0005:376.6 mph10.6 km/h2:14 secs4min 29s28min 05s
*for speed/distance conversation allow for a small amount of rounding up/ down.
28 minute 5k training plan

Follow our training plan to get you under that 28 minute mark

To start this training plan it is recommended that your 5k PB should be below the 30 minute 5k mark already and you are able to run at a pace of 9:00 per mile for at least 1km.

During the course this 28 minute 5k training plan you will be running at a slightly faster pace than this for short durations so you need to ensure that you can hit the 9:00 for at least 1km before we start to think about maintaining it for 28 minutes.

If you are not quite there yet, have a look at one of our other 5k training plans before building up to this one:

Other 5k training plans: 18 minute 5k || Sub 20 5k || 22 minute 5k || 24 minute 5k || 26 minute 5k || 28 minute 5k || Sub 30 minute 5k || Couch to 5k

Your 28 minute 5k training plan

Please read before starting a training plan:
Frequently Asked Questions
Signs of Overtraining
130min easy3x1km
[email protected]:37 per km / 9:00p/m (90s rec.)
30min easy4x800m
[email protected]:29 per 800m /9:00 p/m
(200m jog rec.)
Rest/cross-trainRest/cross-trainLong run
[email protected]:12 per 400m /8:50p/m (60s rec.)
30min easyHills
Rest/cross-trainRest/cross-trainLong run
330min easy4x800m
[email protected]:29 per 800m /9:00 p/m
(200m jog rec.)
Rest/cross-train30min easyLong run
Rec. WeekRest/cross-train30min easyRest/cross-trainRest/cross-train30min easyRest/cross-trainRest/cross-train


Time commitment: You should be looking to commit roughly 3 hours of work a week over the course of the 28 minute 5k training plan in addition to any time spent cross training.

Breakthrough Sessions – 28 minute 5k: The items highlighted should be challenging intense efforts, mini-milestones towards your target:

  • 400m Reps – these need to be at 8:50 p/m pace (2:12 per lap) with a 60sec standing recovery.
  • 800m Reps – should be reps at 9:00p/m pace (4:29 per 800m) with a 200m jogged recovery.
  • 1km Intervals – hit 9:00p/m pace (5:37 per km) with a 90sec jogged recovery.
  • Hills: Kenyans/ Hill Sprints – alternate between Kenyans and Hill Sprints to get a balance of power and endurance training. Example Hill Training Sessions.

Breakeven Sessions – 28 minute 5k: These sessions are used for maintaining fitness & recovery. Preparing you for breakthrough sessions

  • SteadyRun – this doesn’t need to be any quicker than 09:45 p/m.
  • Long Run – this should be less than 1 hour.
  • Fartlek – unstructured training. Example Fartlek sessions.

The core work for the 28 minute 5k training plan is set over a 3-week period with the addition of 1 week’s recovery. At the end of the first 4-week cycle you can repeat and/or tailor the plan to your individual needs to focus on your particular 5k event.

It is recommended that after 2/3 months of using the training plan that you take a break and treat yourself to a couple of weeks of low-key training. This should start with 2-3 day’s off from running completely and continue with a nice short easy run every other day.


Keen amateur runner who likes keeping fit & devising training plans that help you get faster. The plans on this site have helped me knock minutes off all my times. I also love cats and popcorn.

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18 Responses

  1. Trevor says:

    Why would you need to train for a 28 minute 5K

  2. Sandy says:

    Hi. Can I do weights as cross training. If not, when is it best to do them. Looking at two or 3 times a week. Thanks.

  3. PAUL says:

    Hey Matt,
    I currently have a sold base of 35-40 miles per week. I have a question about total training time per week. you seem to say that it would be 4 hours plus cross training but it seems like adding up the workouts on the plan it much less than that.


    • Matt says:

      Hi Paul, thanks for your query. I have allowed for an hour a week contingency so you are correct in that the total training time is circa 3 hours (30 mins roughly per session + 1 hour for long run) with an additional hour included which is the time I spend faffing, getting to a track/hill/gym, etc. 🙂 Cheers

  4. Mad says:

    Well done and really great job for all the effort that you put to make all this training plan!!!
    I started running on July 17 and already completed 3 times 5K race with my best time is 35:50 (official) on 6 Aug 17. During that race, my official chip time for first 2.5km is 13:02 (5:23min/km) , but the pace drop dramatically for the next 2.5 km to 9:07min/km. During the training, I completed my first 10k in 1:14:50 on 4 Sep 2017. My average weekly distance is 16km. I still confuse to choose which plan is best for me and how fast I can go. My actual target is to achieve 55min 10k in Jun 2018. Which plan do you think is the best for my next 5K race on this 4 Nov? I will start to join 10k race by next year.
    Many thanks!!

  5. eric hui says:

    I’m a beginner and as with all sports, i’m guessing it doesn’t matter what program i follow- gains will come progressively and inevitably. My question is will this training work if i am doing this as a form of crosstraining, since i’m not a primarily a runner. 5 /week training seems like nothing, but i just want to hear it from you

    • Matt says:

      Hi Eric, I’m not sure I really understand your question. Sure, whichever plan you follow gains will come progressively at first but you will inevitably plateau at some point, which is why I have put together these structured plans built around a target race pace as it’ll help the progression you’re after. My advice would be if you are only running as part of a cross training programme then these plans probably aren’t for you as they are geared towards running and achieving particular race times. Cheers.

  6. Oliver says:

    Hi. I’m on the 16 minute 5k training plan. It’s very useful and enjoyable. Can you explain more on how to do the tempo runs? How long should they be and at what pace? Many thanks

    • Matt says:

      Hi Oliver, for the tempo run I would suggest something in region of 20 secs outside your target pace pace for a couple 2-3 miles in the middle of a jog. My tempo runs tend to last 30 mins, 10 mins jog, 10 mins ish at a good tempo pace, then 10 mins jog. Hope that helps and good luck with the trianing plan.

  7. Shannon says:

    What do you mean by “after 2/3 months of using the training plan…”?

  8. Hannah Rae says:

    I was just wondering what you suggest I do during the 1 week recovery (as in should I be doing some easy runs or cross-training or anything like that?)? I love your site btw 🙂

    • Matt says:

      Hi Hannah, yes I would suggest to do a couple of runs during your recovery week just to keep things ticking over. I wouldn’t advise any speed work that week and if you have options for cross-training then this would be a great thing to do that week. What worked for me was to cycle or swim most days during the recovery week and by the end of it I would have given my ‘running legs’ a break and be itching to get out for a run. I found this approach also helped alleviate the prospect of groundhog day training setting in, so you are giving yourself a break mentally as well as physically.
      Pleased you like the site and good luck with your training 🙂

  9. Jack says:

    Thanks for your awesome no-nonsense site. I love it, you get right to the point with simple easy to follow training plans. I’m currently working towards a sub 30 5K (I’m about 32:30 now), and to follow that with a sub 60 10K (I did a 1:07 a few months back with one month of training). I had started doing a few intervals but didn’t really have a plan and now I do. I like that you can adjust the paces with your plans. Question… I’m walking during my rest intervals right now, as I’m pretty gassed after the 1KM and 800m intervals. Do you think that is okay?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Jack, thanks for your comments. Always nice to hear that the plans are working and you find them useful. Re your walking, yes that is fine: recover as best as you can in whatever way suits you. Some people like to jog slowly between intervals so the heart rate doesn’t come down too much and it’s not so much of shock to system when you start the next interval. Personally, I take static rest when doing 400m & 800m intervals and a jogged rest when doing 1km or 2km intervals.
      Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  10. Adela says:

    Gonna give the 28 plan a go after my 13 yr old bet me I’ve been out for 18m due to injury and recovery Last week 5k was 29.11 so fingers crossed
    Well done andrewmcgill

  11. andrewmcgill says:

    After 2 years away from running I finished my C25K a month ago with a time of 29:51. After following the 28min 5K plan I’ve just managed a 27:48 – 32 seconds faster than my previous best so thank-you 🙂

    • Matt says:

      Well done that’s a great effort and a really good improvement in such a short space of time. I’m pleased the plan worked so well for you 🙂